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Is My Injury Claim “Capped”?

Johnny Pak 

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Alberta, you have probably heard about a “cap” for personal injury damages.

By way of background, the Alberta government enacted legislation called the Minor Injury Regulation, Alta. Reg. 123/2004, which came into force on October 1, 2004, imposing a limit of $4,000 for non-pecuniary damages in cases where a plaintiff has suffered a “minor injury” caused by a motor vehicle accident.   The “cap” limit is adjusted every year for inflation.  For motor vehicle accidents occurring in 2017, the “cap” limit is $5,020.

You may be wondering whether the “cap” applies to your claim?

First, the “cap” only applies to your non-pecuniary damages (ie. often referred to general damages for pain and suffering).  The “cap” does not apply to any other heads of damages you may have suffered (ex. out-of-pocket expenses, wage loss, etc.).

Second, the “cap” only applies “minor injuries”.  The legislation defines a “minor injury” as a sprain, a strain, or a whiplash-associated disorder grade 1 or 2 injury that does not result in a serious impairment.  The courts have subsequently provided guidance as to what type of injuries constitute a “minor injury” and what do not.  In summary, if you have suffered any of the following injuries, the “cap” may not apply to you:

  1. Chronic or ongoing pain.
  2. A whiplash-associated disorder grade 3 or 4 injury.
  3. A fracture or broken bone.
  4. A dental or jaw injury including temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
  5. A concussion or brain injury.
  6. A psychological injury including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or depression.

Accordingly, even if you have suffered a sprain, a strain, or a whiplash-associated disorder grade 1 or 2 injury, your claim may fall outside the “cap”.

If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is always advisable to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

2018-11-21T14:57:12+00:00December 4th, 2018|

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